Design thinking deals with wicked problems. Because no single objective can be identified in advance, design thinking is aimed at drawing on and synthesizing a wide range of knowledge and influences rather than at optimizing (Huang; Saffer; Owen). For the same reason, it is viewed as interpretive (Lombardi), holistic and integrative (Lombardi; Owen). Both how the problem is framed and how to evaluate possible solutions must be devised as part of the designing process.
In addition to having a rich set of heuristic analogies, metaphors, and topologies to draw upon “design thinking is supported by a rich set of tools, processes, roles and environments” so that “Designers work like craftsmen. They know when to use the right tool at the right time (Tim Brown on Wroblewski).”